Puella Magi Madoka Magica
By Rachael Ward,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Outstanding anime is more violent than you'd expect.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
The underlying message is that one should be grateful for what one has, and that a normal life is preferable to a magical one. Also, that suffering is part of life and that you must persevere and not let challenges get you down. Additional themes include compassion and integrity.
Positive Role Models
Madoka Kaname is kind, gentle, forgiving, and cares deeply about her friends and even her enemies. She has a very strong will and commits herself to what she believes is the right thing to do, even if it means that she might have to suffer in the process. Madoka is a big dreamer, but she is smart enough to realize when things get serious and is quick to act when other people are in danger.
Violence & Scariness
Lots of fighting, but it's normally concentrated against the Witches, though there are a few cases where magical girls fight each other. Weapons include muskets, swords, spears, bows, and a wide variety of guns and explosives. The Witches can be very gruesome and creepy -- stabbing, beating, shooting and even decapitating a few characters.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
The girls are often seen in their school-girl outfits (known for short skirts), which is common in Japanese anime. The opening song includes a brief shot of a naked Madoka, but her body is glowing so you can’t see anything.
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A few instances of "s--t" and "crap" in both Japanese and the English dub.
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Products & Purchases
There is merchandise available online, such as dolls, comics, and posters.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Madoka’s mother enjoys a drink occasionally.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Puella Magi Madoka Magica appears to be a cute animated show for little girls (similar to Sailor Moon), but it's full of dark moments and imagery that is more suited for teens and adults. Witch characters are very creepy, and there's lots of violence between girls and witches and sometimes between girls themselves, including beating, stabbing, and decapitation. Expect a bit of language, including "crap" and "s--t." There is a bit of adult drinking and some girls in short skirts.
Where to Watch
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Puella Magi Madoka Magica
Based on 16 parent reviews
Death filled anime with cute characters
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I. LOVE. THIS. SHOW.
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What's the Story?
In PUELLA MAGI MADOKA MAGICA, fourteen-year-old Madoka Kaname (voiced by Christine Marie Cabanos) is approached by a strange creature called Kyubey. He tells her that if she makes a contract with him, he will grant her a wish and give her magical powers. But in exchange for her powers, she must fight monsters known as Witches. As Madoka struggles to decide what to wish for, she discovers that the life of a Magical Girl is a tragic one, full of suffering and despair. Is anything she could wish for worth sacrificing her life?
Is It Any Good?
This truly special anime defies genre and takes a common idea for girls' anime -- giving teenage girls magical powers to save the world -- but gives it a darker twist. The result is a story more intent on making its audience think than simply providing entertainment.
Puella Magi Madoka Magica's animation style is full of fluid motion and attention to detail that makes it a uniquely pleasurable experience to watch. Every one of the main characters is well developed and its hard not to get attached to them as the story progresses. The plot is full of twists and turns that will keep viewers guessing and the overall messages -- including the idea that a normal life might be preferable to a supernatural one -- are powerful.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about the tone of Puella Magi Madoka Magica. How do the creators establish a mood or tone for the series? What would make it a different kind of series? How would you change the series, if you could?
Talk about how the violence is presented. Does it improve the story? How would the story be different if it was less violent?
Talk about symbols in the series. Who do the witches represent? Are there other symbols you recognize?
How do the characters in Puella Magi Madoka Magica demonstrate compassion and integrity? Why are these important character strengths?
- Premiere date: February 14, 2012
- Cast: Christine Marie Cabanos, Cristina Vee, Sarah Williams
- Network: New Video
- Genre: Kids' Animation
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Fairy Tales
- Character Strengths: Compassion, Integrity
- TV rating: NR
- Last updated: December 10, 2022
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